A judge’s order Monday would give Alabama residents another day each week to use circuit clerks’ offices, but it won’t make a difference in Calhoun County.
That’s because the Calhoun County Circuit Clerk’s office never closed to the public on Wednesdays, as all state circuit clerk’s offices were directed to do by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in March 2013.
Calhoun County Circuit Clerk Eli Henderson said that the county office is simply too busy with customers on Wednesdays to close.
“Wednesday is traffic court day, so it would be hard for us to be closed,” Henderson said. “In a county like ours, we don’t have a choice. We’ve got to stay open.”
Moore ordered the closures to help the offices catch up with filing duties without interruption from walk-in residents. Moore’s order cited that state funding for courts was cut $25 million for 2013.
Moore’s Monday order was that state circuit clerks’ offices will reopen to the public on Wednesdays beginning July 1, but it gave local offices the option to request to remain closed Wednesdays if deemed needed.
Despite continued low funding for state courts, many judges let it be known that their courts have caught up and can resume normal hours, Moore said in his Monday order.
“There are approximately 10 circuit clerk’s offices around the state in which the presiding judge sought an exception to the closing requirement from the chief justice and remained open,” wrote Scott Hoyem, public information officer for the Alabama Administrative Office of Courts, in an email to The Star Monday.
“Since their exceptions were approved in advance there was no violation of the orders. Thus, no ramifications,” Hoyem wrote.